You can Survive the Holidays Without Losing Your Sobriety
Celebrate, Have fun and Stay Sober at the Same Time
The holidays are difficult if you are trying to recover from an alcohol addiction problem! But there are ways you can cope.
Are you someone who has just gone through an alcohol rehab or alcohol treatment program? Or, perhaps you have suffered for years from alcohol addiction and have recently joined Alcoholics Anonymous. As the winter holidays approach, many people who have stopped drinking alcohol feel concerned about how they are going to manage to stay sober when they are being exposed to a continuous series of parties and family events that involve drinking. If you have stopped drinking because you have had past medical or personal problems as a result of alcohol abuse, this time of year can be particularly stressful. How can you face the holidays, and not start drinking again? Are there some tactics that you can use to help stay sober?
Go to plenty of meetings
If you are an alcoholic who has joined Alcoholics Anonymous, you may find it helpful to attend as many meetings of AA as possible during the holiday season. Meetings are a great place to find other sober people who are going through the same types of holiday stress as you are. They are also a good way to stay busy and avoid as many of the unwanted social events as possible.
Socialize with non-drinkers
Even when you are not attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, it will be helpful if you find time to socialize with AA members or other non-drinkers. If you have recently been through an alcohol rehab or alcohol treatment program, they will encourage you to stay away from people and places that will put your sobriety at risk.
Go to AA sponsored holiday events
Alcoholics Anonymous hosts holiday events in many parts of the country. If you can't find an event in your area, host one. See if you can get a group of other members together to hold a holiday party, dance, potluck or other social event. You can hold it in a home, or you can see if you can find a community center or AA meeting place that is available for a party. You can decide what type of event you would enjoy, hire a disc jockey, get a caterer and sell tickets to other members of AA. Many people will be grateful for a holiday party where they can have fun with their friends, without being exposed to continual drinking. Some alcohol rehab facilities also host holiday events for former graduates of their program.
Bring your own beverages to social events
If there is a work party or family get-together that you cannot avoid, make sure you bring your own beverages to drink if you are not certain that non-alcoholic beverages will be available. This is a great time to experiment with sparkling fruit juices and other beverages that are festive and fun, but non-alcoholic.
Ask your family to help you
Tell you family how difficult it is for you to be around people who are drinking heavily. Tell them you would like to see them, but prefer to do it at a time when the main focus is not alcohol. Perhaps you can get together with your family for a great holiday breakfast or lunch, and then leave before the drinking gets heavy. Ask for your family's help, and ask them to be understanding if you leave the festivities early to go see friends or attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Minimize the time you spend with heavy drinkers
In general, whether or not it is the holiday season, life is easier for people who are trying to give up drinking if they minimize the amount of time they spend with heavy drinkers. Although our social and family life often revolves around drinking alcoholic beverages, you may find your life is easier if you spend less time with big drinkers and more time with sober friends. Happy Holidays!
For more information about Alanon or how to handle problems with alcohol, you may want to read some of the articles listed below:
photo courtesy of photoxpress.com
Read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous - It Will Help You Stay Sober
Amazon Price: $21.95 $4.98 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 3, 2016)